The "release" was perfectly fine polished from the start, I didn't have any crashes and I could play through it in its entirety, as could a lot of other people, I've seen literally broken games release and Witcher 2 was certainly not one of them. Are you actually holding it against them that they are incorporating some of the things that people disliked about the game and offering additional support and content to the game for free after you already paid for it?
That aside, I'm also not entirely opposed to the "pay-before-it's-ready" approach to making games, for instance I've bought Natural Selection 2 a long time ago and it's sitting there on Steam waiting to get ready and I'm able to play the Beta if I want, Minecraft and a few other games have had a similar model. I'd rather a developer push a game out not ready than not at all, there are forces at play beyond "they were lazy, so it's buggy", before something like STALKER 2 (or whatever game, it was just a recent example) get cancelled entirely out of financial reasons I'd rather support them with some money so they can keep working on it. There are a lot of mediocre games out there that were nearly bug-free, which won't get better over times because they're bad games and there are a lot of great games that released rather unfinished and even required a lot of community work for one reason or another (for instance Vampire: Bloodlines, KOTOR II, most Bethesda games or Gothic come to mind) I'd much rather prefer out there and available even if they're still buggy instead of cancelled or given up on...
My point is that CDProjekt RED have now released two games with which they've felt it necessary to release updated versions, The Witcher 2 getting its within a very short amount of time after release. That, to me, suggests little confidence in its products or some sort of inconsistency with testing. They should have made sure the DRM didn't affect the game like it did, they should have gone "Shit, guys, what about a tutorial for new players?" - things like that. The fact they didn't, to me, is a little puzzling. It also makes me begin to think that buying on release day is a stupid idea because six months later, they'll just bring out a new version. Why should I bother buying on release, only to wait for that version to exist? There's no point, is there? I might as well just wait. That's not a good approach. With The Witcher 1 you can understand it as it was their favourite game and it did incredibly well, so it could be considered a goodwill gesture but also a way to go "Look, we did great, and we've now addressed some problems so please play this new version and see how we've improved it based on your feedback.", but after that it doesn't work. Why did they fall into the same trap again? Why did they feel the need to update it like they have? SotS II had a botched release, but you don't see SotS II 2.0 being mentioned, they just got their heads down and put out substantial patch after substantial patch.
Fact is, the game was perfectly playable from launch for me and largely bug-free, I don't know from where you get the idea that it was "unfinished" from. I still haven't even updated to 2.0 and haven't played it in a while and still have rather fond memories of it, I might pick it up again after the Xbox version is out and there have been even more updates (didn't they say something about an Expansion also?)
Another fact is, software like many other things is never "done", you could always have done something more or different and there's always features and content that were planned but will ultimately be scrapped, it's a reality of software development.
At some point when your product works and large does what it is supposed to you'll just pick a release date and put it out there for other people to enjoy and I'd rather have a developer that listens to feedback and works to fix issues people had with its product (not that I personally had many) than a company ignoring such issues, which a lot of games have because according to some there is something like a "final product".
Also, are you annoyed at CDProjekt updating their game or are you "upset" about every site picking up on it and running a news story, which is it?
The legal issue I think we were highlighting was less that CDProjekt was less about the DRM issue and more about distribution and a potential culture of litigation, but I digress. Point is CDProjekt aren't saints and although they don't particularly like DRM, they're still happy to start litigation like any record label.
The stuff that went into the 2.0 versions were stuff that went above and beyond: improved graphics, vastly fixed script, re-recorded dialogue, language options and some extra campaigns for Witcher 1. A new tutorial, arena mode and difficulty level for Witcher 2.
For the Witcher 2 specifically, the extra content could basically have been sold as DLC (Bioware certainly would have) in which case it would have been covered by websites as new DLC. While I take your point about patches not really being news-worthy, I'd hate to see sites ignore additions like this just because they're not being charged for.
1) Just like everyone else that has weighed in on the issue, you don't have any way of producing the rock-solid credentials that mark you as an expert in this kind of thing. Even then, there's no guarantee of impartiality from anonymous forum posters.
2) One day would not be a valid study. Spyware doesn't have to be uploading data 24/7 to be spyware, or even once a day. It can do it on install, it can do it weekly, it can phone home once a month.
Again, I'll restate what I wrote in my first post, since apparently nobody bothers reading anything, and any mild perceived criticism of Origin gets jumped on by the same old characters, no matter what was actually written:
Whether or not you want Origin on your system comes down to one simple thing: The benefits that Origin can bring you, versus the many potential downfalls of dealing with a company that famously (Add you own links here) puts your needs and rights as a customer right at the bottom of the list of what they want to achieve with their software.
Note: I can already tell that you either didn't read it, or that you did and you just didn't get it, and that you're itching to reply and quote, so I'll put it clearly: Yes, I didn't state in either this post or the first one that Origin is spyware. I'm just clearly saying that EA are a bunch of untrustworthy c**ts, and any choice as to use their software to gather customer information comes down to a simple risk vs. reward calculation of how much that information is worth versus how much money they'll lose if they upset their customers. Let's go look through some of those other EA complaint threads that exist out there and try and work this out, yes? ;)
Present some. Until then the accusations all stem from "But it's EA!" which isn't a strong argument.
1) "But it's EA!"
I win. Goodnight. *snicker*
I think we all know that the reason the benefits of Steam outweigh the downside comes down to one simple factor: sales with games that are cheaper than a pint. And once you're on and using it for a few ultra-sales the barrier to using it for other games is a lot lower.
If Battlefield 3 or The Old Republic was selling for a fiver on Origin a lot more people would be using it...
More draconic punishments for thieves + less draconic DRM = my ideal world.
This is of course only my personal opinion, and I know that most disagree with it. :)
Suppose it's a matter of perspective.
I dunno. Practically every game I've bought on steam directly has been on sale and had a large discount. I think if you avoid AAA stuff where 10% off amounts to very little, the deals are pretty good. Occaisonally you'll get the odd AAA for extremely cheap (I nabbed New Vegas in the last sale for like £4), but I wouldn't rely on it for that. I've always found it worth checking back each day during a sale to see what's available.
I've certainly bought a lot of games this way which I wouldn't have otherwise.
I think it is the publisher's/developer's right to go after pirates. There once was a hilarious anime dating game where the torrent-version was secretly leaked by the devs themselves - the only problem is that it contained a code which took a screenshot of the desktop and put it up on a wall of shame, where people had to buy the full-version to be removed.
That was definitely crossing the border, legally and ethically, but oh so funny.